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Past events

On Race, Species and Becoming Human
Online via Zoom

March 25th, 2021

Zakiyyah Iman Jackson shares with us her innovative thinking on the intricate relations between race, species and the idea of ‘the human’.

In her thought-provoking book Becoming Human: Matter and Meaning in an Antiblack World (NYU Press, 2020) Jackson scrutinizes key African American, African and Caribbean cultural texts. She argues they generate conceptions of ‘being’ that disrupt the human-animal distinction that persistently reproduces the racial logics and orders of Western thought. Unlike most black studies scholars, Jackson questions the emancipatory promise of ‘humanization’. Instead, she turns to texts by leading scholars and writers like Sylvia Wynter, Audre Lorde, Octavia Butler and others. She uses their work to drive a creation of a new understanding of being that neither relies on animal abjection to define the human, nor reestablishes the need to be recognized as ‘proper human’ within liberal humanism as an antidote to racialization.


20:00: Introduction by Tundé Adefioye
20:10: Zakiyyah Iman Jackson: ‘Architectures of the Flesh'
20:40: Q&A with the Zoom-audience, facilitated by Tundé Adefioye
21:10: Closing words by Tundé Adefioye

This program is organized by the Race & Research Network at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, in cooperation with RHEA, VUB Crosstalks, Kaaitheater and the Race-Religion Constellation project at Radboud Universiteit in the Netherlands. As such this event is part of A series of More-Than-Human Encounters developed by VUB Crosstalks and Kaaitheater, as well as a continuation of the yearly tradition to highlight the International Day Against Racism at the VUB initiated by the Race & Research Network in 2020.

For Tickets, see: https://crosstalks.vub.ac.be/event/race-species-and-becoming-human 

Radboud Anti Racism Awareness Week: "Conceptualizing Race and Religion" and "Islamophobia in the Netherlands and at Radboud"
Online via Zoom

March 24th, 2021

As part of Radboud University's Anti-Racism Awareness Week (March 22-26), the race-religion constellation project is involved in two panels on Wednesday, March 24.


I: Conceptualizing Race and Religion: Islamophobia and Antisemitism (10:00-11:30)

Nawal Mustafa, Anya Topolski and Sophie Lauwers will look at the intersection of race and religion and the racialization of religious groups. The discussion will be moderated by Josias Tembo and Justine Bakker. The discussion revolves around the following questions: How have certain religious groups been racialized and how has this shaped specific forms of racism? How do anti-Black racism, Islamophobia, and antisemitism operate in Dutch society and institutions?


II: Islamophobia in the Netherlands and at Radboud (12:00-13:30)

Margreet van Es, Martijn de Koning and Sarah Boulehoual will look at the manner in which Islamophobia affects our society and university. Moderated by Lema Salah, the panel will address the public and political discussions about Islamophobia and the effect it has on the muslim community in the Netherlands.


Register for both panels via:



Please see the attachment for the full schedule for the week. We hope to see you there!

Mariska Jung - Postcolonial Europe and it’s Animal Other: On Race, Religion and Species
Venue will be communicated depending on corona measures

December 10th, 2020

Since the turn of the millennium, the practice of religious slaughter of animals for food consumption has become increasingly politicized in Europe, with over ten countries legally intervening in the practice or heavily debating to do so. This politicization occurs against the backdrop of 9/11, the alleged failure of multiculturalism and the problematization of Islam in Europe. The past decades have also witnessed the maturation of animal welfare as a political concern that is represented on local, national and European parliamentarian level. In her PHD research, Mariska Jung focuses on the conceptual questions and entanglements of race, religion and species that emerge from the political debate on religious slaughter. In this presentation, she will outline her general research framework and discuss parts of her work so far.

This event is co-organized by RHEA and EDGE
Time: 12.30-14.00, Thursday 10 December
Venue: will be communicated depending on corona measures
Registration required by sending an email to susan.dierickx@vub.be

Conversation on "Becoming Human: Matter and Meaning in an Antiblack World" by Zakiyyah Iman Jackson
Online conversation

September 22nd, 2020

Please join the Race and Religion Constellation team for an online conversation Tuesday 22 September on Becoming Human: Matter and Meaning in an Antiblack World authored by Zakiyyah Iman Jackson. Jackson is a black feminist scholar and assistant professor in English at the University of Southern California, USA. In Becoming Human, she grapples with the enduring relationship between animality and blackness in Western science and philosophy. Studying African diasporic literary and visual culture and straddling the disciplines of philosophy, art and science, Jackson develops a new understanding of black ontology that both critiques and displaces the racializing and animalizing logics underpinning Western thought.

In this session, we will discuss the book and any kind of question it stirs up within us. What kind of conceptual implications can we discern from thinking blackness from the perspective of animalization for theorizing the race-religion constellation? How do we envision the political implications Jackson’s theory has for doing anti-racist work? How, if at all, does the book resonate with our own individual scholarly, artistic or activist terrains of interest? These and more, or other, questions can be posed during the session. It will be an open forum for collective exploration and exchange.

We encourage you to get a copy of the book and read it, but if you are pressed for time consider to check out the interviews with Jackson on podcasts such as Parallax View and Always Already Podcast, or watch a recording of the online book launch on YouTube.

Please confirm your participation with Mariska Jung via mariska.jung@vub.be.

David Theo Goldberg Workshop
Radboud University

November 13th, 2019

‘Multiculturalism is not dead: Tariq Modood & Fouad Laroui in discussion about multiculturalism & secularism’
De Balie Amsterdam

October 15th, 2019
In 2010 Angela Merkel famously declared the death of multiculturalism. The renowned British sociologist Tariq Modood believes Merkel is wrong: multiculturalism is not dead. In De Balie he shares his ideas about the future of multiculturalism and discusses the multiculturalist challenge with e.a. Fouad Laroui who believes in a strict separation between religion and state.

‘Israel has a Jewish Problem: Self-Determination as Self-Elimination’
Spui 25 Amsterdam

May 9th, 2019
Much has been written about the outcomes for Palestinians who have been excluded and marginalized by the Zionist project. This event adds a layer of complexity by asking about the outcomes of popular sovereignty for those presumed to be at the center of an ethno-national state, “the people” themselves.

Honouring and Celebrating the Life of Saba Mahmood
Common Room, Anthropology (REC B5.12), University of Amsterdam, Roeterseilandcampus

March 8th, 2019
Next Friday, March 8th, we gather to commemorate and celebrate her life and work. Scholars who have been touched and influenced by her work will reflect om Saba Mahmood's legacy on the study of religion, secularism, Islam, agency, piety, and feminism, to name but a few of the fields that have been impacted by her work. Everybody is welcome to contribute to this conversation.

Entanglements of Race Religion and Secularism
University of Amsterdam & Radboud University Nijmegen

October 22nd - 23rd, 2018
On 22 and 23 October the Race-Religion-Secularism network will organize its first conference in Amsterdam and Nijmegen. The conference aims to connect the innovative research on the race-religion constellation to recent academic discussions on the religio-secular paradigm.